In 1962 President John F Kennedy proclaimed the week of May 15 National Police Week, and today is Police Memorial Day. Memorials will be held throughout town today and 17’s Ilyana Capellan was live at the Bakersfield Police Department memorial ceremony this morning.
Today’s memorial was smaller than past years due to COVID-19, but the message is still the same- It’s a day set aside to pay tribute to those in blue who have died in the line of duty.
In 2020, over 260 police officers died in the line of duty. Just this week two California officers were shot and killed. Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Terry says this week serves as a reminder of what can occur when they head off to work in the morning.
“Every day when officers get dressed, and part of dressing is putting on a bulletproof vest and there’s a reason for that and there’s no clearer reminder than this week, unfortunately, and so you, your family sees that you go through this mentally and you recognize that this is there for a reason that these things could happen but then as you continue to get dressed and you put on the badge, it is a reminder of why you do what you do,” said Chief Terry.
The ceremony honored nine BPD officers who have lost their lives. Those nine officers are;
Thomas Jefferson Packard
Aaron Alexander Trent
Floyd B.d.w. Cummings
William Lord Rucker
Patrick Don Vegas
William Leonard Sikola
David Joseph Nelson
Dennis Alan Moore
K-9 Jango, who was shot and killed following a pursuit on April 27th, was not honored today during this memorial, but plans on his memorial service are expected to be released soon.